Huawei is working with British spooks to prove that it has no backdoors in its products which would allow Chinese agents to snuffle Her Majesty’s secrets.
The company has set up a “Cyber Security Evaluation Centre” in Banbury, which is a town better know for fruit cake, carpet and being the birthplace of rocking paedophile Gary Glitter.
But according to the Economist, the centre is being used to persuade Q that equipment from the manufacturer that runs it can be trusted. GCHQ has a handy base near by. Apparenly anyone who is anyone is riding a cock horse to Banbury cross to see a Chinese company with a Western gloss.
What is interesting is that Huawei staff have UK security clearances and some of them used to work for GCHQ, so the relationship in Blighty is very close..
Apparently this alliance means that networking equipment and software that the Chinese firm wants to sell the British, will only do what customers want them to do.
But it also means that the gear has to keep out Chinese spies and other countries have been worried about Huawei for exactly that reason.
Dmitri Alperovitch of CrowdStrike, a web-security outfit said it was ridiculous to allow Huawei, with its connections to the Chinese government and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), to have access to a network.
But it could be that the British closeness to Huawei is sending a message out to the other Western Allies. New Zealand for example has given the company big contracts, and even some US generals are starting to wonder if “China bashing” is the right approach.